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Shadow UAV

The Shadow Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) was a popular drone that was part of the organic structure of the Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs) deployed to Afghanistan.

Shadow UAV
Shadow (Photo DVIDS)

Description of the Shadow. This small drone is made by Textron Systems and designated the RQ-7B. It is an unmanned drone with a range less than 100 miles and an aloft time of about 9 hours. The common variety in the U.S. military is a Line-of-Sight (LOS); however, there is a model that the company offers with a satellite-linked version.

Arming the Shadow? Although tests have run since 2010 with arming Shadow's the Army is not currently planning to put weapons on the drone. The Shadow can be modified by mounting hardpoints onto the wings to carry weapons. The Army brigades have enough organic fire support and external fire support that the Shadow is not needed as a weapons platform; it's mission will primarily be the 'eyes from the sky' for the brigades.

Shadows for the Afghan National Army (ANA)? The Afghan military does not have (as of 2015) a UAV or drone capability. Many of the U.S. brigade combat teams (BCTs) deployed to Afghanistan with their organic Shadow platoon and most BCTs were augmented with a GOCO civilian contract Shadow element (same type personnel and equipment as the platoon but contract). One would have thought (circa 2012) that the Air Force advisors at ISAF would have pushed for a Shadow GOCO package for the ANA. This would have given the Afghans a 2015 capability of conducting unilateral surveillance and reconnaissance.


Websites with Info on Drones

Blog Posts about Drones in Afghanistan by Afghan War News Blog
www.afghanwarnews.blogspot.com/search/label/drones

Drones used in Afghanistan by Afghan War News
www.afghanwarnews.info/equipment/drones.htm


Videos about the Shadow UAV

April 1, 2013. "UAV Technology". DVIDS. Watch a video of the launch of a Shadow UAV by CFT Warrior in Ghazni province.

May 4, 2013. "UAV Shadow". DVIDS. A b-roll of UAS platoon, B Company, 1st BSTB, doing prechecks, catching and launching the unmanned aerial vehicle Shadow. FOB Fenty (Jalalabad, Afghanistan).
www.dvidshub.net/video/289008/uav-shadow

March 30, 2013. "CFT Warrior UAV Package with SOT". DVIDS. Video on the Shadow UAV assists the ANSF and their SFAAT counterparts in CFT Warrior.

May 4, 2012.  "Australian Shadow 200 UAV commences Afghan operations".  Flight Global.


News Stories about the Shadow

May 7, 2015. "Is the Poor Man's Predator the Future of Armed Drones?" By Patrick Tucker, Defense One. If the U.S. loosens its rules on the export of armed drones, the biggest names won't necessarily be the biggest winners. The Shadow is one of the smaller drones that could possibly be armed with air to surface missiles.

September 17, 2013. "Shadows provide mission support from the sky". DVIDS.

 

 


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